On behalf of the whole Generation Scotland team, let me start by thanking you all for your continuing support throughout 2021. You answered over 50,000 questionnaires! You contributed to 15 full research publications with more under review, and you supported vital work on the Covid pandemic.
You can also follow our social media Christmas advent calendar updating our followers on important studies!
One other recent highlight is an exciting new collaboration called COVIDMENT. This brings together Generation Scotland and other studies like us from Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Estonia and Denmark.
We are still in the grip of Covid. Although things eased up a bit in 2021, it has still been a long and hard year. Now we have to contend with the Omicron variant. You may well be wondering when and how this will all end. No-one knows for sure, but part of the answer lies in mass vaccination.
In the UK, the vaccine roll out has been hugely successful. The first patient was jagged on 8th December 2020. Now over 80% of the adult population is double jagged. Booster jags are on offer to all those over 18. This has prevented countless hospitalisations and deaths. We are now in a much, much better place.
The other part of the equation relies on the scientific community. They responded instantly to news of Omicron. Already, new lab tests are being carried out to see how well our current vaccines work. New and smarter vaccines are in production. The spread of the Omicron variant in the community is already under investigation and the NHS is monitoring the severity of disease in the young and old. You too are playing your part. Thanks to the data you share, Generation Scotland is helping to monitor the spread.
All I want for Christmas
It is possible that Omicron will mean more Covid cases, but the symptoms may be milder so fewer cases end up in hospital. That at least is the hope. But we can’t be complacent or rely on wishful thinking. The festive message this year still has to be ‘vaccination – the gift that keeps on giving’ and ‘all I want for Christmas is my booster jag’.
Planning for the future
In what has been another very full year for the Generation Scotland Team, we have also been busy planning for the future. We will be putting out a call for new volunteers to join Generation Scotland in early 2022. We hope you will support us in this by encouraging more family members and new families to join.
Thousands of teenagers completed our TeenCovidLife questionnaire. They too can join Generation Scotland if they are 12 or over and have the approval of a parent or guardian in Generation Scotland.
There will be more information coming your way soon ahead of the formal launch, but anyone can register their interest now.
Happy Festive Season to you all from me and your Generation Scotland team. Very best wishes and here’s hoping for a good 2022.